Despite being around for decades, email remains a reliable marketing tool for countless businesses. Whether you want to build credibility, strengthen relationships, increase sales, or bring more traffic to your website, it’s the way to go.
But reaping these benefits is often easier said than done. Email marketing can be complicated, and there are always new trends on the horizon. Trying to keep up with it all might leave you wondering whether it’s even worth the effort. Messages get lost in inboxes, marked as spam and deleted before any click-through occurs.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The right tools and a bit of know-how is all you need to put together an email marketing campaign that works. Here are four fundamentals that will help you make it happen.
Nail the Subject Line
We’re told not to judge books by their covers, but restassured that your recipients judge your emails by their subject lines. They need to be compelling if you want your messages to be opened. Here are some basic approaches:
- Urgency: Aim to communicate a call for immediate action.
- Curiosity: Generate interest without being too obscure.
- Offers: Leverage people’s attraction to new and free things.
- Numbers and Statistics: Use concrete figures instead of vague promises.
- Relevance: Incorporate trends and timely headlines, which can also help to establish authority.
- Personalization: Cater to the individual. Using names is particularly effective.
- Intrigue: Start with a compelling allusion to a story. Just be sure to stay relevant to your brand.
Remember to keep it concise. Around 77% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so sticking to fewer than 50 characters (17-24 is the sweet spot) will help to prevent your subject lines from being cut off. Don’t forget about the preview text, either. Most email clients make use of it, and it’s the perfect space for adding context to your subject line.
Emojis are another way to grab attention and stand out in a cluttered inbox. Of course, you should only use them if they align with your brand image.
Write Engaging Content
Compelling copy is key. Get it right, and your subscribers may start opening your messages solely for the great content that they’ve come to expect from you. Start by ensuring that everything is only as long as it needs to be.
Paragraphs are best kept to three sentences, each being less than 25 words and none without a clear purpose. Sticking to one call-to-action is a good idea. That said, it’s also wise to place your CTA in several locations based on where a reader would be most likely to scan across your content. Remember to offer something of value. You can do this by:
- Providing case studies
- Offering testimonials
- Sharing success stories
- Including discounts and special offers
- Solving or answering a (relevant) problem or question
- Providing learning material (e-books, guides, courses, etc.)
- Giving away free resources
Put the reader first and avoid talking solely about your business. Using active instead of passive voice will help.
Use the Right Tools
At the foundation of your email marketing efforts are the services and tools that help you make it all happen. Choosing the right software will ensure that your emails get delivered and everything runs smoothly. Here are some tried and trusted solutions to consider:
- Constant Contact is a beginner-friendly service for managing lists, contacts, templates and schedules. It also features tracking and reporting tools to help you gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns. Automation, surveys and polls, integration features and online training come standard here.
- ConvertKit provides a powerful platform geared towards marketers, authors and bloggers looking to improve their email marketing. Some unique features include auto-responders for drip emails and incentives with email signup forms. There are also several tools built-in to help you increase conversions.
- Mailchimp is a popular email marketing service thanks in no small part to their free plan. A simple email builder tool makes it easy to craft your messages, while their tracking features provide useful analytics. It’s also easy to integrate with other tools to improve your efficiency.
Some other considerable options include GetResponse, AWeber, Drip, and SendinBlue.
Another great service is HubSpot’s PieSync software, which can save you hours of time by keeping recipient data in-sync across the tools that you use. For example, you can start syncing MailChimp with Outlook to automatically push contacts into your list when a subscriber is added, or MailChimp gets updated.
This comes in addition to a range of other useful features that are easy to set up and make use of. You can try it out for free with the two-week trial.
Include Relevant Links
There are several links that should be included in your emails. One essential is social sharing links, which can expand your reach by making it easy for subscribers to share your offers with people they know. It’s a powerful way to generate leads and improve your returns. And the better your content, the more likely it will be shared.
Don’t hesitate to provide a number of options, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. An email forward link is a noteworthy addition as well. You can strengthen the links by optimizing the meta descriptions of their landing pages.
Another important link is that which gives your recipients the option to unsubscribe. In fact, you’re legally obliged to include it. Make the option easy to see. You don’t want to force anyone to be on your list. It doesn’t have to be massive, but don’t hide it, either.
Links to valuable content and relevant blog posts are also a good idea. Focus on ensuring that link text is descriptive and engaging while being as short as possible. They should save your recipients time by making it easy for them to go where they want to go, without distracting from the primary purpose of the message.
Mastering these elements will help you make leaps and bounds in the success of your marketing emails. Invest some time into your efforts. It will certainly pay off.